Walking and Galloping at the Same Time

Since Yomping Buddy was visiting for the weekend and the weather was set fair,

Five year old cartographers are not to be relied upon.

You know how it is, when a man’s gotta yomp, a man’s gotta yomp and a few days off recently allowed me and no.2 yomping buddy to hit the open road bound for…. well where exactly? We had an idea that we would like a view and since we hadn’t been there before and had been told a view could be had, we set off for Acres Down to the west of Lyndhurst.

We had one of those easy walks books which seem to have been written by a not so retired SAS sergeant major, but it seemed straight forward enough. I have mentioned before to beware of books that use trees as landmarks, particularly if they are over a couple of years old. Well here’s another proviso. If the book doesn’t define what it considers to be a path, with maps drawn by what appears to be a five year old, don’t start on the walk. See the trouble with the country is that lots of other creatures are walking around when humans aren’t and are inclined to make their own paths and not let the SAS sergeant major know so he can ask his five year old to add it to the map. As a consequence of which, you may well find that you miss a path (or two) or count too many paths (or three), and end up somewhere you were neither expecting nor have much knowledge of.

In fact if you continue around a hill too far, it’s just about possible you might end up going in the wrong direction. Now I’m not saying that is what happened, but I am grateful that there was a straight road that we could orientate ourselves to from the five year olds map. And march along in the wrong direction. Of course if we had gone the right way we wouldn’t have met the very friendly elderly couple in their camper van parked up having a cup of tea. And wouldn’t have been offered a lift back to the car by them. Mind you we may well have managed to get back to the car ourselves in that time, but it’s nice to meet new people isn’t it? The view will have to wait for another day.

Walking guide books

Oh behave! Of course I mean the sort that tell you where to go! Question is, do you trust them or not? This became more than just a philosophical point when a couple of yomping buddies took up temporary residence in a cottage along the coast and pretty much press-ganged me into a yomp. Someone had previously bought a ‘Walks from pubs’ book which seemed a fair enough place to start, so we did.

Well actually we started with lunch at the Rising Sun on Tiptoe Road north of Bashley. In my experience a pint and a Plough persons lunch all round sets you up for a good yomp, and although acceptable it was never going to match the Plough persons lunch of gargatuan proportions we enjoyed several years ago in the Fleur de Lys, Pilley. It is the yardstick by which all other Plough persons lunches will be gauged, and my suspicion is that none will quite measure up.

So suitably fortified we started off on what was promised to be a gentle 2 or so mile walk through the forest and a nearby Inclosure. Now just a word to the wise, when you are walking from a guide book, read at least two sentences ahead from where you think you are. It will stop you having to backtrack along a road you should have turned off several hundred yards back. I’m just saying….

GUIDES FROM AMAZONPub Walks Along the Solent WayPub Walks for the Family in Hampshire and the New ForestPocket Pub Walks The New Forest

Waterside Walks in Hampshire (Waterside walks)

The New Forest National Park:
Leisure Walks for All Ages (Jarrold Short Walks Guides)

The Solent Cruising Companion

So anyway, many small ponies and a flying display